Women’s Soccer: Huskies begin final road trip to Providence 

UConn women’s soccer team takes on Villanova for the final home game of the season on Oct 19, 2023. Photo by Connor Sharp/The Daily Campus

The storied hatred between the Huskies and the Providence Friars is well known, but the next chapter in the history between these two programs will be fought on the soccer field. On Sunday afternoon, the UConn women’s soccer team (as of writing: 6-3-5, 3-1-3 Big East) will visit the Friars (as of writing: 8-2-4, 3-0-4 Big East) in Providence, Rhode Island for their Senior Day. 

The Huskies will be coming off their final home match of the season against Villanova University and are searching to improve their seeding in the Big East Tournament. As of writing, UConn is fourth in the Big East standings, while Providence is third. 

The Friars saw two players earn honors on Monday’s Big East Weekly Awards. 

Forward Kayla Briggs was named the Big East Offensive Player of the Week, recording three points in two matches. The highlight of the freshman’s outstanding week was a game-winning goal late in last Thursday’s match against Marquette, with Providence winning 1-0. She also recorded an assist against No. 22 Georgetown, which resulted in a 1-1 draw. The Toronto native is one of the biggest reasons that the Friars are one of three teams without a loss in Big East play. 

Midfielder Avery Snead was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll, playing the entirety of both matches last week. The senior from Wrentham, Massachussetts helped Providence allow just one goal while also putting up nine shots on goal against Marquette and Georgetown. 

The team is led by forward Meg Hughes, who leads the offense with 16 points through 14 games. The senior, the only Friar named to the 2023 Preseason All-Big East Team, ranks second in the Big East with eight goals. The Rochester, Massachussetts native currently ranks sixth on Providence’s all-time scoring list with 59 points in 63 career games. 

Behind Hughes this season are forwards Kyla Gallagher and Gillian Kenney, who have nine and eight points respectively. 

Providence will be coming off a tough home match against No. 20 Xavier University, entering their Senior Day with either momentum or determination. 

On the other side, UConn saw three of its players on the Big East Weekly Honors. 

Midfielder Lucy Cappadona was named the Big East Defensive Player of the Week, her second of the season. The senior helped the Huskies shut out DePaul University and Butler University last week, clearly the team’s best road trip this season. UConn had a 38-17 shots advantage and 22-4 shots on goal advantage in both games combined. The Marlborough, Massachussetts native played 90 minutes in each match as the Huskies look to end the regular season on a high note. 

Goalkeeper Kaitlyn Mahoney was named the Big East Goalkeeper of the Week, not allowing a single goal against DePaul and Butler last week. Across both games, the senior made four saves with the help of a stellar defensive team. As of writing, the Manorville, New York native has eight shutouts this season, tied for the second-most in the Big East. 

Midfielder Jessica Mazo joined Providence’s Snead on the Big East Weekly Honor Roll, scoring a goal and an assist to tally three points in a dominant 5-0 win over DePaul. The graduate student from Bridgeport, Connecticut finished the week with nine total shots during last week’s road trip. 

Forward Chioma Okafor continues to have an impressive sophomore year. The Blantyre, Malawi native leads the Huskies with four goals and ten points this season. However, forwards Abbey Jones and Cara Jordan have caught up to Okafor with eight points and three goals each. 

UConn has dominated the Friars in past years, with an overall record of 26-4-3. However, Providence isn’t just higher in the Big East standings. They also have a slight advantage in the Massey Ratings, with the Friars ranked No. 70 in the country while the Huskies are No. 76. The last two meetings have ended in ties and Connecticut has not won at Providence since 2009. 

Following Sunday’s match, UConn will wrap up the regular season in South Orange, New Jersey next week against Seton Hall University. Providence will also finish the regular season on the road, facing Villanova next Thursday. 

The penultimate match for the Huskies will take place at Chapey Field at Anderson Stadium in Providence. The match is set for 1 p.m. and is available to stream on FloSports. 

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